Once you have content on your website, you’ll need to know how to track visitors to your website. It is very important to know how to analyse this information so that you can make the necessary adjustments to ensure that your site is getting noticed.
How to Track Visitors to Your Website
Once you know how to track visitors to your website, you can then use this information to customize how your write your content based on your website stats. There are many different tools you can use to track visitors to your website–some are paid services and some are free. I prefer to use the free services. The most common free service is Google Analytics. Google Analytics will quickly become your best friend when you want to analyze website stats. This is an important step in knowing where you’ve been vs. where you want to go.
The importance of Keywords
I hate to beat a dead horse here, but the importance of keywords cannot be stressed enough. Why? Each time you write content and publish it, you will be using a certain number of keywords in your article.
How to get traffic on my site?
As your website grows, you will be ranking for more and more keywords. The more content you write and publish, the more quality keywords you have on your site which will increase your traffic organically.
Some people start a site and put up one or two articles and wonder why they are not seeing a lot of traffic on their site. This is because they may only have a few keywords in their very few posts. It’s like being in the middle of the ocean and trying to catch hundreds of fish with only a few pieces of bait. It’s impossible. The more good quality content you have, the longer a visitor will stay on your site and look around. The more good quality keywords you have the better chances you have of gaining more visitors who are typing in those keywords looking for information. Does that make sense?
I say this because that’s exactly what happened to me when I started. I had a few pages up and wondered, “where are all my visitors?” The more content you have, the more visitors you will have. It’s just that simple.
Keep a few things in mind when you start this process:
- If your site is new, it will take a while to generate decent traffic. Google looks for established sites and those site get more rankings than newer sites.
- That being said, when a site is new, you must publish content at least twice a week. Google wants to see that your site is active and information is being published on a regular basis. Any less than that and your site will quickly lose steam. Google is actually hungry for it.
- If you can publish twice a week, that’s roughly eight times a month; that’s 48 times in six months. So you should be in pretty good standing after six months and have some pretty decent traffic to your site.
How to Get Started With Google Analytics
These instructions presume that you already have a gmail account, a Google Analytics account and that your tracking code is installed on your site. (If you don’t already have one, set up a gmail account. Once you have a gmail account, go to Google Analytics. You can use your gmail account to sign in.)
On your Google Analytics Home page, on the left side, you will see your website name. Under that you will see All Website Data. Click on that and you will be redirected to the Reporting page.
The type of information that will be most useful to you is:
- Customized date range
- Number of visitors each day/week/month
- Number of new vs. returning visitors
- Bounce rate
- User flow
When you first open Google Analytics you will see a left side panel. Open the Audience section by clicking on the drop down arrow to the right of the word. Then click Overview.
Customized Date Range
Once you get in the habit of checking your website stats in Google Analytics, you’ll change the date range so you can get an idea of how your site performs over periods of time. A good range is a monthly range.
Number of Visitors Each Day/Week/Month – New vs. Returning
In the screenshot below, you can see the number of visitors over a one month period as well as new vs. returning visitors. You will want to see the number of overall visitors increase. You will also want to see returning visitors increase over time. The higher the returning visitors the better. The other thing you want to keep in mind here is bounce rate. If you have a high bounce rate (>90%) this means that people are finding your content using your keywords but may not be finding what they are looking for. Also indicated here is the bounce rate and session duration.
Demographics is also an important thing to check from time to time. This information will actually give you more information about the types of people that are interested in your website content. So for instance, if your target market is women over 50 for a certain niche/product, you demographics may show something entirely different. If this is the case, you can go back over your site and review the content to see where you are missing the mark.
In the screenshot below you can see by clicking Audience/Overview, you will see the country demographics. If you were targeting a specific country and you did not see that country listed, you would want to check and see if you did your keyword research properly. You may have to double check to see if you targeted keywords for a specific country.
User Flow – What Visitors Do When They Get To Your Website
You can see how your visitors interact with your site by seeing where they start, their first and second interaction. You can also open up these sections to see which pages are getting a few hits here and there. This information is provided by country–another good way to see where your site may be more popular.
Social indicators will tell you what social media platform is most effective provided you are using them all equally. Some will work better than others. In this particular screenshot, you can see that StumbleUpon has had 73 sessions. This is surprising to me because I don’t use StumbleUpon that much yet I use Google+ all the time. So that tells me to focus more on promoting my content through StumbleUpon to increase my visitors.
I hope you now have a clearer understanding on how to track visitors to your website. You should try and review your website stats at least once a week. If you are concerned about your stats and you think you are doing everything properly, it may be time for a health check on your site. This is Part One of How to Track Visitors to Your Website. I’ll be publishing Part Two shortly. Part Two will guide you through Google Webmaster Tools. Please feel free to leave a comment below if there’s anything I can help you out with.